If two’s company and three’s a crowd, what’s five?
After they brought back Tyler Polumbus yesterday, the Redskins now have five players who have a shot at starting at right tackle for the Redskins in 2013. Here is a quick look at the field, from the player most likely to line up at right tackle when the Redskins’ season opens around Sept. 8 to the least.
Polumbus—He comes back as a flawed incumbent but it is likely that he will line up with the first team when OTA’s start in May and he will have to be knocked out. In 15 starts last year he allowed eight sacks and 46 QB hurries, both team highs. Polumbus comes in as the favorite but his body of work says that he is not a lock to be the starter.
Tom Compton—His next snap in an NFL game will be his first but the team is high on the future of the 2012 sixth-round draft pick. Compton was put on the practice squad coming out of training camp but he was moved up to the 53-man roster in midseason to ensure that another team would not poach him. He is probably the guy the team would like to win the job as he is young, has three years left on a contract that pays him a salary commensurate with a sixth-round pick (in other words, cheap), and he has the potential to be a long-term solution. But he would need a very strong push in OTA’s and in training camp to take the job.
Jeremy Trueblood—His career arc is not headed in a promising direction. He was a solid starter at right tackle for the Bucs in 2010, but his performance slipped in 2011 as he allowed 50 QB hurries. Last year he was benched and then injured. Trueblood will be 30 before the season starts so this could represent his last chance. Sometimes a change of scenery can help revive a career and that apparently is what the Redskins are hoping will happen here.
Maurice Hurt—He started the one game last year that Polumbus missed (concussion). His play against the Eagles in Week 16 was passable, as he allowed no pressures on a hobbled Robert Griffin III. Hurt has half a season of starting experience as he filled in at left guard in 2011 after Kory Lichtensteiger went down with a knee injury. That time on the field gives him a shot at the job.
Tony Pashos—With 70 NFL starts at right tackle under his belt, it would be a mistake to dismiss Pashos’ chances. But he has started only 15 of those games from 2009 on. He will be 33 in August; it is possible that he will be released before training camp but it’s also possible that he makes a push for a job.
There are really two jobs available here, the right tackle spot and the swing tackle job. Jordan Black filled the latter role last year but the signings of Pashos and Trueblood indicate that he probably will not be back. Hurt could stick as a backup at guard and right tackle so three of the above players could well end up on the 53-man roster.
Drafting an offensive tackle is not completely out of the question if one is the best player on the board when the Redskins’ turn comes up at some point on the third day of the draft. That player could wind up spending a year on the practice squad to provide competition for a roster spot in 2014 or 2015.